Mount Zion Trail

Lower Zion Junction SignThe last stretch of Sturtevant’s second trail and a part he built himself. From Lanaan Canyon (above Santa Anita Ave.) to Winter Creek he simply had to refurbish the old Burlingame wagon road, built to retrieve timber. To continue on to his camp, he had to contend with Zion Ridge. One story he told was that his choice in routing the trail was made simply by following a bear up the rugged south-facing slope, assuming that the bear knew the best way. This would account for the trail’s haphazard quality and the 1,000ft gain in 1.5 miles, but it sounds absurd. He was also overheard to suggest that his stubborn nature was to blame, that when it was recommended he go around the ridge, he went over. I think he invented these stories when he realized that the Burlingame brothers’ trail building skills were far superior to his own. There is also a strong possibility that this project was a dypsomaniacal event. From the junction with Lower Winter Creek Trail, about 2500′, the trail climbs to Zion Saddle at just over 3500′. Here there is a 1/4 mile spur trail to the summit of Mt. Zion. The trail down the north side of the ridge is a pleasant 300′ drop in 1 1/2 miles to Sturtevant’s Camp. This lesser-used trail was almost lost until its renovation in the late 1970’s and again in 1985. It is sometimes used by Winter Creek cabin owners when visiting Sturtevant’s but combined with the Gabrielino Trail and Lower Winter Creek it makes a fine 9 1/2 mile loop; 10 miles by Upper Winter Creek. Because of the steep south side of Zion Ridge, the loop is best done counter-clockwise.